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Lost Legacy: The Starship - Board Game Box Shot

Lost Legacy: The Starship

| Published: 2014
63 10 2

Can you reconstruct a centuries-old alien craft by finding pieces of the wreckage in a few 16-card decks?

go to: Who would enjoy this game?


So you’ve come to Lost Legacy because the theme of Love Letter didn’t work for you, and space is cool! You’ve heard a lot of good things about Kanai’s micro-masterpiece, and a skin of the game with a theme you can stomach is just what you were looking for. Well, Lost Legacy is certainly as good as Love Letter, but there are a surprising number of differences between them. You know… as different as 16 cards can be.

Set Up

Lost Legacy sets up in around 10 seconds. You simply shuffle the included 16 cards to form a draw pile in the center of the play area, place the top card face down next to it to form the “Ruins”, and deal one card to each player.


How much gameplay can you get out of 16 cards? A lot more than you’d expect.

Lost Legacy uses the same rules of action as Love Letter. On your turn you will draw the top card of the draw pile and decide which of the two cards you hold in your hand to play. When you play your chosen card you must follow the effect written on it.

Sometimes you’re simply choosing the less-undesirable option; other times you’re tactically using your cards to try to eliminate opponents.

Lost Legacy Elimination Cards

We diverge from Love Letter in two major ways:

  • Winning by player elimination is less frequent in Lost Legacy. Several of the cards still allow it, but they are fewer in number than in Love Letter and there are a few ways to counter them.
  • What happens when the last card is drawn? In Love Letter you simply compare the cards remaining in each non-eliminated player’s hand, and the highest number wins. Lost Legacy introduces deduction. One card in the deck – cleverly titled the Lost Legacy – is special. All players still active when the draw pile empties will get a chance to guess where it is located. It can’t be played during the first part of the game, so it has to be in a player’s hand or in the Ruins. The player with the lowest numbered card gets to guess first. Your winner is the first to find it.

It can be an advantage to have the Lost Legacy card in your hand when the draw pile is emptied as long as other players don’t know you have it. Its number is “5”, so you probably won’t be the first to guess.

Lost Legacy Ruin Cards

The most striking advancement in Lost Legacy from Love Letter is the addition of the “Ruins”. Where Love Letter instructs you to remove one card from the deck each game to introduce a little uncertainty – and this card is never used or referenced during that game – Lost Legacy uses it to create a relevant common-area pile instead. You will have the opportunity to add cards to the Ruins, or swap a card in your hand with one in the Ruins. You’ll get to peak at cards in the Ruins, which is imperative in trying to locate the Lost Legacy. This addition single-handedly doubles the gameplay depth of Lost Legacy from its predecessor.


Lost Legacy The Starship Contents

You’re lookin’ at ’em.

16 cards of adequate quality with awesome sci-fi illustrations. A tiny instruction manual. 4 player aid cards. And a velvet bag to hold them in. No more. No less.

Learning Curve

Very easy to learn, but also very easy to master. After 5 or so games (which can happen in 20 minutes) you’ll always know which card to play out of the two in your hand.

Thankfully, that doesn’t hinder Lost Legacy‘s replayability. It (along with Love Letter) is just so much more engaging than anything else you’re going to play in 5 minutes.

Who would enjoy this game?

Family Gamer {yes}
These Kanai 16-card games are perfect for “waiting on dinner at the restaurant” play. They’re light and fun, designed to play several times in succession, which makes it easy to control total play time. And they comfortably fit in a pocket.
Strategy Gamer {no}
There is no room for strategy in a game where so much hinges on the completely unknown next draw. You have an “A or B” decision to make every turn, but the decision you make now has no bearing on the one you’ll make next.
Casual Gamer {yes}
Another emphatic “yes”, the engaging and quick gameplay coupled with the appealing (although loose) sci-fi theme makes Lost Legacy super easy to get into.
Avid Gamer {yes}
If you manage your life trying to maximize the amount of time you’re playing games, having titles like Lost Legacy is a necessity. No time restriction is severe enough to stop it. No rules too daunting.
Power Gamer {no}
Lost Legacy will do little for Power Gamers save providing a temporary distraction while you await your next “big” game.

Final Thoughts

The most pleasant surprise with Lost Legacy is how it differs from Love Letter. The only similarities – and admittedly these are major – are the play mechanic and the “game in 16 cards” thing. While other themed skins of Love Letter have similar card effects to the original, Lost Legacy‘s cards are completely different. There is none of the 16 that behaves even remotely similar to cards in Love Letter.

The addition of deduction in Lost Legacy is terrific. While victory by player elimination is certainly possible, it’s much less likely than with Love Letter. And once you get to the end-of-game guessing phase things get very exciting. You only get one guess – you’ll need to make it count.

Lost Legacy Cards

Everything written here has been about “Lost Legacy” – you’ll notice we haven’t said “The Starship” until now. That’s because the Lost Legacy arc of games takes place over three sets: The Starship, Flying Garden and Whitegold Spire (each named after a piece of the wrecked Lost Legacy you’ll need to find to reconstruct it). All of these “chapters” in the overall game play by the same ruleset – you’re always trying to eliminate opponents in the first half and guess the location of the Lost Legacy card in the second half. An awesome feature of the Lost Legacy games is the ability to combine two sets to play a 6-player game.

Love Letter felt a little stunted by its 4-player limit – not that there’s fault in that, as you can’t really expect more when contents consist of 16 cards. Combining two sets of Lost Legacy creates a 31-card game (you use the Lost Legacy card from one of the sets and remove the other) that allows 6 players to have the same – but slightly longer – experience. You can’t simply combine two sets of Love Letter because it shakes up the delicate balance of card count, but each “chapter” of Lost Legacy holds completely different cards, allowing for combination without disturbing equilibrium.

User Reviews (2)

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Player Avatar
Scorpion Clan-Legend of the Five Rings Beta 2.0 Tester
51 of 58 gamers found this helpful
“A more complex Love Letter”

As mentioned, the game is based on the Love Letter mechanics. It is simple enough to learn, and by the time you play your 4th or 5th game, you would already know what card is in the relic pile and what card is in your opponents’ hands.

The value of this game is slightly below Love Letter IF you will play it as a standalone. I think the best thing going for Lost Legacy is the fact that it can be combined with 5 other Lost Legacy expansions to give it more depth that Love Letter will not be able to provide.

As you add more expansions, the game definitely gets better.

Player Avatar
United Kingdom
I play yellow
Gamer - Level 6
34 of 41 gamers found this helpful

As my title suggests AEG have come up with an updated/amended/copy mechanics of the fantastic LOVE LETTER for the boys. Now I don’t have a problem with love letter. Easy mechanics, quick to teach and fun to play. However In didn’t feel THE STARSHIP has the same fun value as LL. Same idea, you get a card each. the person who’s go it is gets 2 (of which 1 can be played) you have 16 cards in the pack and each has various powers. The difference in this game is that you are looking for the starship card to win. You have cards that create an extra discard pile called the ruins which means those cards can come into play again, which is a nice touch. You also get an extra round if required which is called then investigation phase. where you can search the ruins or other people hands for the missing starship card.
Like love letters various packages available. this come in and nice Blue velvet draw string bag which looks pretty cool and ideal for travelling.
A BIG plus is that they plan to release add on packs/cards to further the experience (and their pockets with £)

After playing this quite a few times (as 2 player) I noticed that we didn’t get to the investigation stage very often as a people would be eliminated.

On the whole I think with longer play and mybe larger groups this could be good, but on initial play prefer LOVE LETTER.


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